Evening Update Thursday 21 April

Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi has said he will not seek a ministerial post in Paris should Emmanuel Macron win the election. Estrosi who is quite close to Marcon said that on Monday morning, he will 300% be at his desk in his office and among the people of Nice.

France is digesting the results of last night’s big debate between presidential candidates Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron.

The lead topic was the cost of living where Madame Le Pen said she would preside over a renaissance for France. Monsieur Macron referred to the pandemic and the war, suggesting these dramatic world events had impacted on the cost of living.

On other international issues, Macron was quick to remind Le Pen of her party’s loans from Russian banks. He said, if she were speaking with Russia she would be speaking with her banker. Le Pen said she was a free woman and a patriot, and was paying back the loans. However it was a bruising exchange for her.

The pair’s wildly differing approaches to Europe was in evidence as well, with Macron saying he believed in the European project and the Franco-German alliance driving it. Le Pen said European institutions needed reform and she was the woman to implement change.

A snap poll conducted for BFM TV after the debate, showed 59% of respondents found Macron the more convincing of the two. The final round of voting for the presidential election takes place on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the eliminated third-placed candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon has asked voters to elect him as prime minister. He said if voters elected a majority of MPs from his party La France Insoumise, he as Prime Minister and Macron as president would lead a more representative government.

Heavy traffic is expected across the entire weekend as the Easter holidays end in the Provence Alpes Cote d’Azur, but begin for those in northern areas. Traffic from Paris is expected to be particularly heavy as holiday makers head south to the Mediterranean. Vinci Autoroutes say traffic on the A8 will be heavy or even saturated all day tomorrow Friday, with a peak for the Nice region from 5 to 8pm. The same can be expected for Sunday. Elsewhere traffic is expected to be very dense around Aix-en-Provence, Toulon and heading north on the A7 toward Lyon and Paris.

Authorities are investigating a fire at a building in Nice this morning. There were no casualties but the building suffered significant damage. The incident happened on the corner of Avenue Jean Medecin and Rue Rouget de l’Isle near the city’s main train station.

In Cannes police have arrested four teenagers who deliberately set off fire extinguishers at a local cinema complex. The teenagers,  aged 15 and 16 were detained by police before being handed to their parents.

BUSINESS

Shares in Netflix continue to freefall, with the company losing $50bn, or over one-third of its value in the last 24 hours. Today Pershing Square Capital Management have dumped $1bn of their stock, losing $400m on the deal. They say that while Netflix plans for the future, which include a crackdown on password sharing, the investment firm fear the immediate future is too risky for them to be involved.

At Tesla, despite price increases and rising costs, demand for its electric cars continue to rise. Profits at the company soared to $3.3bn in the first three months of the year, pushing its share price up another 5%, making owner Elon Musk the richest man in the world.

Nestle has warned that it will continue to increase the price of its products due to rising costs of food. They report raising prices 5% in the first three months of the year, which translated into a sales growth of 7.6%. According to the UN Food price index, food prices worldwide are at their highest since records began 60 years ago.

SPORT

Football - Manchester United have officially appointed Ajax coach Erik ten Hag as their next manager. The Dutchman will take over at the end of this season on a three-year deal. Ten Hag will become United's fifth permanent manager since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams are among the investors looking to buy Chelsea football club. They’re involved in the Broughton consortium, which is one of three groups in the running to purchase the Premier League side for £2.5bn.

AS Monaco have overtaken OGC Nice in the league after a 1-0 home victory at Stade Louis II last night. Golovin scored the winning goal at the end of the first half, which takes AS Monaco up to fifth place, while Nice drop to sixth. Both teams need a top four placing for European qualification. Meanwhile, Paris St Germain moved a step closer to regaining the overall league title after their 3-0 away win at Angers. Their next game on Saturday, at home in Paris against RC Lens, should seal the deal.

Formula 1 - Carlos Sainz has signed a new contract with Ferrari until the end of 2024. The Spaniard joined Ferrari as a team-mate to Charles Leclerc and has impressed with his speed, consistency and collaborative philosophy. The new deal means his contract is as long as that of Leclerc who signed a five-year deal before the 2020 season.

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